Vinum Cellars White Elephant Blend

Vinum Cellars White Elephant Rhone Blend 5-Pack
$69.99 $119.00 41% off List Price
2011 White Elephant Rhone Style White Blend
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Bahwm and I had an opportunity to enjoy a bottle of the Vinum Cellars 2011 White Elephant Saturday night. I looked at the blend, and thought with 17% Roussanne and 15% Viognier, it would have enough backbone to stand up to a meal with lots of flavor. I roasted some sea bass with lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, and cilantro, and bahwm made a salad with baby kale and Brussels sprouts, with toasted almonds and a mustard shallot lemon juice and olive oil vinaigrette. Quite a challenge, but this wine was more than a match for it. Well-chilled, it had a delightful floral nose, with violets and orange blossoms, and not a hint of alcohol. On the palate, dry and crisp, with flavors of pear and green apple, as well as some tropical fruit. As it warmed up a bit, the flavors intensified, and some vanilla and spice notes turned up. A wonderful accompaniment to a flavorful meal, but I think it would also do beautifully on its own. We thought it was at least a $20 bottle. At $15 shipped, a terrific deal, IMO.

Saturday evening we had the chance to taste the 2011 VINum Cellars White Elephant California Table Wine. It is 68% Chenin Blanc, 17% Rousanne and 15% Viognier and oh, what a wine it is! Just give me a straw! Seriously, this is a beautifully blended wine that is rather full bodied. I did not get a lot on the nose—that could be because of the many aromas wafting through the house! There were some light floral notes, maybe some honeysuckle and some pleasant minerality. It is rather light straw in color. I got some tropical fruits on the palate mango, guava and a hint of vanilla—probably from being barrel fermented in French oak and aged Sur Lies for 9 months. This wine is extremely pleasing to the palate. Even after dinner, I find myself wanting more of this delicious wine. It works well on its own and with food. I will let ddeuddeg expand upon our menu selection for the evening.

At $15.00 per bottle including shipping, this is a great QPR!

I’ve had some good bottles from Wilson Vineyards (Crusher), like the sounds of the blend and numbers look great.
Well trusted palates reporting in to confirm.
Yup, purchase post and share.

This looks like a very interesting white. Anyone in Chicago want to split either 3/2 or 2/3?

These look good, but I would be a fool to purchase it. My wife is super picky and only seems to enjoy whites that are on the lighter side.

We drank this two nights ago with sushi. I had uni and ankimo, SWMBO had a spicy roll, the in-laws had ahi sashimi. This wine stood up to all of it very well.

Nose: very pretty, floral, fruity. Mouthfeel: very creamy. Not buttery, not oaky, but creamy. White, stone fruits. Nice acid on the back end. If I guessed blind, I would have thought it was 100% Vio but the acid would have made me question that guess a bit. The bottle is presented very nicely. It’s heavy and the silk-screened instead of paper-labeled. I would have guessed that this was in the $25 or $30 range based on the bottle presentation and the wine inside. A very nice wine and I would gladly pay $20/btl for it.

Any percieved sweetness? Would non-regular wine drinkwrs appreciate this? I’m trying to be good but this blend sounds delicious…

It comes off a tad sweet, but fruit sweet, not sugar sweet. And the acid kicks in at the back end for balance. I would guess RS is below or just at detectable level. I don’t know your palate for whites well enough to guess if you’d like it, but all four of us who tasted it really enjoyed it. Creamy, full bodied, pairs well with spicy and non-spicy food, would go well on its own. Winner in my book.

Hello, this is Richard Bruno from Vinum Cellars. Thanks for the positive comments about the White Elephant. This is a blend we have made since day one, our first wine. Still today we work so hard on it, more than any other wine we make. As you point out, this wine is versatile with a wide variety of food, but it is also a really nice alternative to Chardonnay without giving up the same level of generosity in fruit, mineral and french oak nuance.


Thanks for noticing the White elephant is not sweet, but rather ripe in fruit with also some lovely and balanced oak tones (vanilla) from the french oak barrel fermentation and aging on its natural lees. All of my non-wine snobby friends love this wine though they have a had time articulating why. I like that, sometimes people over complicate things, its just really good wine at a value price!

I’m sorry I missed this fantastic culinary experience :wink: The White elepant was made for food and as you learned it is extremely versitile with a wide range of cuisines. Thanks for sharing your great experience with the Wooting community.


Which varietals does your wife like to drink? The base of White Elephant is indeed Chenin Blanc which is clearly on the lighter side. We added the rhone varietals (Roussanne and Viognier) to enhance the floral aromas and mineral flavors. Overall I’d say the wine is medium bodied, but restrained in the oak department and possesses ample acidity found in much leaner wines.


THanks for chiming in. Yes, a few years ago when I was the Director of Winemaking at Don Sebastiani & Sons (2001-2009)I helped to create the Crusher brand. I was the guy who made all of the wines and sourced the grapes which was easy to do since I have had a releationship with the Wilson family now for 17 years. All of the chenin blanc for this blend (68% of the blend) is from the wilson’s chenin blanc vineyards which are now over 30 years old.

Hello Wooters. This is Richard Bruno from vinum cellars. Does anyone have any questions at this time?

OK! Got a surprise FedEx visit on Thursday evening and immediately had to go out of town. Back in time to chime in with some tasting notes - I was really hoping I would be able to chip in and share a timely opinion. Now I (and the SU) are happy to be in time to buy some more!!

Tasting notes from without reading production information…

Wine displays a vibrant green apple nose with lovely floral notes upon opening. First taste is crisp but not biting; a silky mouthfeel with creamy lemon and a nice flinty note. M
The mouthfeel makes me think there was judicial use of malolactic fermentation.

10 minutes later, the wine is showing a touch of grapefruit on the nose, lots of pear notes going down and a spicy finish. At this point, SU got a taste.

Without prompting, he pegged green apple and then declared it was one of those buttery chards. I told him no, he was picking up creamy notes - and to just taste it. He was most definitely surprised and pleased and declared it a must-buy. Sipped it some more and loved the mouthfeel combined with the tartness.

Now, at about 30-40 minutes, I keep sniffing it to soak in that lovely apricot-peach scent that makes me want to jump in the glass. That stone fruit element has also become predominate in the palate. Yes, this is a must-buy.

That must have been a helluva Viognier patch to scent the Chenin so much at that blend… maybe just too much for it to be anything but flabby on its own? I’d love to hear a bit about it. The sur-lies is genius, pure and simple. This is a well-made wine and I’d really like to hear how it holds over time. One of those painful wines… cheap enough to drink without guilt, but limited enough to want to hang on to. And, even though we’re not drinking much white right now, I’m afraid I’m buying all I can. With no place to put it, either.

Good to see a winemaker with a colored square on the boards. The Orange Crusher we had here a couple years ago sure was a hit, but seemingly after your time there.

Following up on the sweetness comment, you have the RS number handy for us on this one?

Look forward to trying this one.

Viognier from Sonoma never hurts :), but the Roussane from Santa Barbara is where is at on MINERALITY and ripe pear essence.

Yes, I had nothing to do with the ORANGE wine. Let me repeat, I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ORANGE WINE… jab :slight_smile: